There’s a song about Southie that starts: “I had an argument the other day with a guy from Oshkaloo.” Well I’m going to plagiarize a bit and say I had a discussion the other day and I think it’s that guy from Oshkaloo.
Here’s how it went. Oshkaloo objected to my articles on the Red Sox. He noted: “What is it that makes you believe that running a business and making a profit are evil things. . . . Every one of us in in some form of “business” (which you consider an ugly word) …[various people] are all trying to improve their condition in life by making as much money as possible so they and their children can have a better life. Except of course for the politicians, judges and government employees who are only interested in the public good?”
I responded: “Running a business and making a profit is a good thing for the guys who run it, their employees and stockholders. It’s just I don’t want to cheer for a business. I don’t suppose there would be much business if we didn’t have the politicians, judges and government employees that make everything work . . . “
Oshkaloo replied: “WHAT ???? “I don’t suppose there would be much business if we didn’t have the politicians, judges and government employees that make everything work” This is the most unbelievable remark I have ever seen !!! Obviously it was the “politicians, judges and government employees” who made our nation what it is – the ones who wrought our independence from the British tyrants and fought in the Civil War and built this industrial mega-nation and fought against fascist imperialism and who continue to put their lives on the line fighting the enemies of freedom. If there is any group of people who are least responsible for making things work in his country it is the “politicians, judges and government employees” who stand in the way of freedom and progress. How in the world can you conclude that this bunch is responsible for anything but a huge drag on our economy and our freedoms?
My response was: “Aren’t our soldiers government employees? Who were those guys who fought in the Civil War, some Kellogg Company employees? Didn’t our government pay to build our highways or was it Bank of America? Don’t the cops keep us safe or is it the Apple employees? Don’t the teachers educate our kids? Don’t the firemen save lives?
Weren’t George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln government employees? Weren’t all the Army, Navy and Marines in WWII so employed? Did any business army keep us free? Don’t the politicians allocate the money to fund the mega-nation you talk about? Isn’t NASA from which we’ve learned so much benefited the nation? Doesn’t the CDC protect the people from disease? Isn’t the FDA valuable for the health of the nation? Isn’t a nation of laws which are made by the judges the cornerstone upon which our nation thrives? Isn’t the incarceration of brutes and barbarians by prosecutors conducive to our well being? Don’t we need government employees to protect our borders and control our air traffic? I could go on and on but I think you get my point.
No nation on earth has ever been successful without politicians, judges and government employees. Perhaps if you know one you can enlighten me.
How can you have freedom and progress without government employees? It wasn’t business that introduced child labor laws. It wasn’t business that set up the public education system or our libraries. It wasn’t business that set minimum wage standard. It wasn’t business that let people organize. But it was business that set up trusts. It is business that must be restrained by our anti-trust laws.
It wasn’t business that built public housing but the government. It wasn’t business that tried to help people it was the government with probation officers, truant officers, child advocates and people working with victims of crime.
You may suggest they are a drag but a country without all those government programs and government workers protecting it would be something be akin North Korea where people have no rights of representation (our government holds the elections) or freedoms (the judges protect our civil rights as do the police). I haven’t heard of any businesses thriving in a society like that.”